Many right-thinking South Africans in general, and Tembisans, in particular, are extremely concerned about the increasing number of illegal rubbish dumps mushrooming all over our living spaces.
Speaking to a concerned Member of Parliament for Tembisa, Ali Tleane, this is what he said about illegal rubbish dumps: “Our greatest concern is the damage this dangerous habit is doing to the minds of our young ones, who are compelled to grow up under conditions of mind-boggling dirt. This is unacceptable and must be condemned by all of us. Almost in every section of Tembisa, there is one or more of these illegal dumps, which are nothing else but a health hazard to our communities, particularly children and the sickly.”
Tleane added that the irony of the situation is that most of these illegal dumps are found near schools, crèches, churches, clinics and business complexes.
“Children play in the waste material.
“This state of affairs is to a large extent responsible for the increasing number of huge rats in our township which do not easily die from consuming poison. We need to act and produce solutions to this scourge. The time for just complaining is over,” said Tleane.
Tleane emphasised that it is true that the ballooning number of people coming to live in Tembisa for economic reasons is contributing to this problem, but it is not the only cause.
“Nevertheless, we know that urbanisation is a universal phenomenon and cannot be fought or stopped. All we need to do is to find ways to mitigate its negative impact on society. Nothing in life is too big to solve if people are prepared to work hard. Presently, the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality (EMM) has come up with a very good idea of issuing big rubbish bins called wheelies. These big bins will likely assist in the reduction of the problem of illegal dumps, in so far as it relates to standard families. By standard, we are referring to those families without tenants or who are not particularly big.
“These families should effectively utilise the bins by storing bags of refuse inside them until on the day when the refuse truck comes to collect in that particular section.
“The rats will also not easily access the rubbish when stored in the wheely. That is why we say that the big bins will help solve the problem, only in so far as it relates to standard families. Given the tough economic conditions experienced by our people, many residents are building additional rooms on their properties for income generation and poverty alleviation.
“This practice is well understood and there is nothing wrong with it. However, the reality is that these properties with tenants, naturally produce more refuse than smaller families,” explained Tleane.
Tleane said the other truth is that when these families pay the municipality for refuse removal, they pay for only one family and not for the additional rubbish generated by the tenants.
“This culminates in the rubbish overflowing on the property. Understandably, this then necessitates the disposal of the rubbish by individuals at street corners during the night. We propose an idea which we believe can solve or significantly reduce the problem. We suggest that the homeowners with tenants or big families should, in addition to the big bin issued by the EMM, make an effort of their own by purchasing extra big bins to cater for the additional refuse generated on their properties,” added Tleane.
He said the additional big bins would enable the households to protect their refuse from ending up at the illegal dump.
“The good people will then store all their waste material in the bins until the day of truck collection. No rubbish must leave the yard until on the day the truck collects it. If all of us can be fair to ourselves and act like true patriots, the matter of illegal dumps can be eradicated. No one is blamed for making extra money through the renting of their additional rooms. All we are requesting is that all of us with big families should make an effort as good citizens to solve the nagging problem of rubbish accumulation,” said Tleane.
He added the acquisition of additional big bins by homeowners and proper management can provide us with the solution.
“We dare not allow our children to grow up thinking that swimming in mountains of rubbish is good and normal. Let us inculcate a culture of preserving the natural environment for future generations,” said Tleane.